For our fourth interview series, I am quite excited to introduce you to Alaina Partridge of The Polished Pinup Parlour here in Winnipeg. I met Alaina about 18 months ago and was immediately struck by her kind and genuine nature. I remember telling her how much I admired her nail art but that I didn’t think I’d ever get gels and how lovely the lashes were but I can’t stand having people fiddle around my eyes. Well, how times change! I got my first set of gels in November 2013 and have had them since. I am also considering lashes in the new year. Alaina’s creative nature really shines through in her work. Her attention to detail and perfectionism leave you 100% satisfied. Her warm smile and infectious laughter are bonuses to the experience!
What inspired you to open The Polished Pinup Parlour?
I’ve worked for a few different businesses doing esthetics and never felt the perfect fit, either being rushed, or management caring less about quality than I did. So after I stopped working at my last job, I decided it was time to make my own rules and go out on my own!
Are you formally trained or self-taught?
I am formally trained, I was fortunate to have been able to take the Nail technology course at Miles Macdonell Collegiate, so it didn’t cost me as much as if I had taken it after high school. I graduated with a dual diploma in 2005. After graduating that program, I also took a body sugaring course and received a certificate for that in 2008. In 2012, while working for an educator and supplier, I took a course for Micha Lash extensions and received my certificate of accomplishment, for that. Around that same time, I also went on a trip to Toronto to do an advanced nail Art class, under two internationally acclaimed nail technicians. While working there I also took courses for advanced techniques for sculpturing the perfect nail, and electric file use.
What has been your best source of knowledge in your art?
All of the courses I’ve taken contributed to techniques I use, in addition to the artistic knowledge I’ve gained from a family full of artists, most prominently, my grandmother, a portrait artist, painter, carver, potter, and anything else pertaining to art that she can get her hands on.
Describe your style in one sentence.
My artistic style is ever changing, I don’t ever stick to one style.
What inspires you in your day-to-day?
On a continual basis I get inspiration from all sorts of online sources posting nails and nail art and creating my own take on what I see.
What are your favourite items to make?
My favorite work projects tend to be the more artistic, more detailed work, I like to be challenged. So my favorite things are, doing eyelash extensions with a splash of color, or nails with a lot of hand painted detail.
What projects or goals are you currently working on for The Polished Pinup Parlour?
My main goal in the new year is to focus a little more on advertising. Hopefully do some promotions for the next wedding season.
How do you balance being a mom and a small business owner?
I have chosen to take clients by appointment only. So to some extent I am able to schedule work around my life as a mom. Limiting my evening and weekend work, and taking time off when needed for Christmas concerts and doctor appointments. It is fortunate that I have been able to do that. When little emergencies come up, I take having to cancel or reschedule appointments very seriously, but as a single mother, you have to do what you have to do sometimes. Now engaged, have much more support than when I started out.
What is one thing you’d like your fans to know about you?
I am very open minded, and closed lipped, I am not judgmental at all, so if you come see me, don’t hesitate to talk about anything on your mind.
What do you find most rewarding about your work?
To me, the most rewarding thing about what I do is, seeing a big change, such as someone coming in with bitten nails, and over the course of a few appointments, seeing their natural nails grow in. As well as seeing people get excited about the quality of my work, from the construction of the nails, to little details of art, and how natural, the eyelash extensions seem.
Best piece of advice for women looking to open their own small business?
My best piece of advice for women starting their own small business, would be to learn everything you can about what is necessary for you, where you are, legally, from name registration to taxes, before you start. If possible take some type of business course before you start. And have faith in yourself and your business. Don’t give up easily when it is a slow start.
I was very happy to sit down with Alaina to do this interview and hope you enjoy the results!